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Tuesday, November 07, 2006


I'm right there with you on Shef and Soriano. I just don't see the Phils being the top bidder in the Soriano war. I'm fine with that, especially since it could take a 6+ year deal to get him.

While Shef may be expensive, it's only for a season, and he'll be playing for a new contract somewhere. Even more incentive to put up numbers.

Are there any other options at 3rd besides Helms and DeRosa? I guess I could be okay with one of them and Abe if we bring in Shef and some legit pitching help.

i don't understand what rowand's value is to this team. he's essentially become a polanco. if they were going to trade anyone, he'd be my first nomination. and the howe thing, i don't get that at all, from his perspective, unless he misses texas that much already.

There are several third basemen looking for jobs, but as far as I can tell, the Phils aren't interested. Pedro Feliz and Shea Hillenbrand appear to be included in that list. One name that hasn't been mentioned is Mark Loretta, but his numbers are slipping and he hasn't played third in a while. He's still a passable hitter, and would be cheap.

In short, there's very little. I think passing on the bidding rights to Top Gun was a mistake.

want to feel sick?

"The winning bid for third baseman Akinori Iwamura will not be made public by Yakult, but it is estimated to be just $1MM. The winning team should be known around Monday or Tuesday." (

if that's true, Gillick made an unbelievably huge mistake not going after Iwamura, who's probably only going to command $6 million tops in yearly salary.

I think part of Gillick's non interest in Hillenbrand is Hillenbrand's "behavior" in Toronto and Gillick's ties to that organization and community.

Hard to say about Top Gun. He may seem suddenly cheap but it's also quite possible he turns into Kaz Matsui. Given Gillick's success with Ichiro I'm willing to cede to him the benefit of the doubt when it comes to evaluating Japanese players.

It is his nickname, at least it is on his official website (most of it is in Japanese):

Gillick could learn something from Cashman this off-season. Those are some serious names being bandied about for Sheff (Lidge, seriously??). No-trade clause or not, Gillick can not give Burrell away for pennies on the dollar.

I'll agree 110% that passing on Top Gun (btw, that's now his official nickname regardless of who gets him) is a HUGE mistake. Would we really voluntarily explore another platoon at 3B? Have we learned nothing from the Dellucci situation? Oh, and I'm glad to see that Alex Gonzalez's retirement served him well (got him through the balance of his PP contract, anyway).

Did anyone else see the piece on Sammy Sosa being "ready" to come back to MLB after a year off? Cracked me up. He acts as if teams would be lining up to sign him. I guess he thinks no one sees through the whole "take a year off, let the system clean itself out with the steroid policy in place" thing. I'm curious to see what he looks like now. I'm guessing "Pudge" Rodriguez part II.

I am predicting right now that we will GET SORIANO and we will pay 6yr 114M.

The fact that the Mets, Sox and Yankess arent going to bid for him helps us immensley.

Lidge really sucked last season and lost his job as a closer. His name surfaced in Phillies rumors too, if memory serves.

Dude: Welcome back; you make a good point on Soriano and the teams that aren't interested in him.

6/$114??? holy expletive expletive expletive. I think I would go up to Philly and punch Gillick in the face if he presided over a deal like that.


The dude better be 40/40 or close to it for the next 4-5 years.

If the Phillies pick up Sheffield it will be an unmitigated disaster, the likes of which we haven't seen here in Philadelphia.

Here are some names: Ron Gant, Danny Tartabull, Lance Parrish, Greg Jefferies...

Sheffield's me first attitude, cancer-like locker room demeanor and post steroid physical breakdown is the LAST THING the Phillies need. Do you want this guy INFECTING Ryan Howard? Potentially the greatest hitter the Phillies have ever produced? Do you want this guy telling Chase Utley (hey don't run so hard)?

Career wise... He did play a significant role in the World Series winning marlins. And he's not prone to strike outs as much as other power hitters... and his "contract year" potential is great...

But I don't want to see him in a Phillies uniform...

It is a disaster waiting to happen.

Amen, ae. This offseason is like Ladies Night at a Star Trek Convention - the talent is so sparse that sooner or later you overvalue the prettiest nerd in the room. It's inevitable. Let's remember that this is Alfonso Soriano (Kirstie Alley), not Alex Rodriguez (Scarlett Johansson).

J, I hear you on Lidge, but fireballing youth (as discussed ad nauseum here) doesn't exactly grow on trees. He still has potential and MANY more years left than Gary Sheffield. Let's just say I'd be petrified if I were Boston headed to the 7th, 8th and 9th with Lidge setting up Mo Rivera.

Mike, to your point about his "contract year," Sheff is on record as saying that he wants an extension NOW and not just the option. Contract year or not, that makes for an unhappy Sheff, which is a cancer like almost no other - Bonds excluded.

Other 3B available will be via trade. Beltre, Crede, Ensburg, and a few others. Cantu ???? maybe - interesting. Rowand maybe the bait to get one of these guys or he could be used for a SP Garcia CWS?
Soriano too expensive - but may need to take him anyway.
Sheffield will likely cost too much pitching to get, so I'm leary of that.

"post steroid physical breakdown"

Really, you think steroids causes wrist injuries?

Utley and Howard have minds of their own. To say Sheffield would infect them sells two class acts short on character.

Todd Zolecki offers no quote to back up his statement that the Phillies have no interest, not even a little in Iwamura. He's been against it from the beginning so don't listen to him, unless confirmed by another writer in the next few days.

Sheffield's attitude is somewhat concerning, as is his injury potential (steroids or no, he isn't getting any younger). but for a one-year deal, maybe an option for a second (possibly vesting based on his PAs in 2007), I think he could be a good risk to take. he also lets us use Victorino as a fourth OF, a role I like him a lot better in as of right now. I really don't think he's going to pull down a great package - I have even read some reports (who knows how reliable) that the Yankees are willing to pay some salary.

I'm still holding out futile hope that Gillick put in a lowball pro forma bid on Iwamura that ends up winning, but saying that's extremely unlikely is probably too generous. I'd like to see us go after a guy like Beltre, Ensberg or Crede in a trade, but given the lack of buzz around something like that I think it's unlikely. I could probably live with a Nunez/Helms platoon (I think DeRosa is not coming here unless he's starting) if Sheffield was in the lineup.

Mike, Sheffield is not as bad a guy as you're making him out to be. I don't even think you're close. He was a brat early in his career and he's perhaps not the most agreeable chap in the universe, but to say he would 'infect' certain players or the clubhouse in general is hyperbole at best. How he compares to players like Gant, Jefferies, and Parrish is beyond me as well, unless you somehow know for certain that his career is going to suddenly come to a crashing halt the moment he puts on a Phillies' uniform.

Dude, do you really think the Phillies want Soriano that badly? Why would they?

All these rumors are skirting around the real problem: pitching. Although free agency is an undesirable avenue, and trading for it can prove difficult, this could mark the second consecutive year pitching is not significantly upgraded. I generally agree free agency is a real gamble, but the lack of new pitching is still a bothersome possibility.

You just nailed it Jason. Precisely the reason that if a Sheffield deal gets done, the Phils will be worse for it. In your original story you wrote "The Orioles dangled Kris Benson and a reliever for him, but were rejected. Among other names being mentioned as bait include Houston closer Brad Lidge..." Obviously, the Yankees are looking for a serious pitching upgrade of their own and it will take pitching to get a deal done. If the Phils were to get Sheff, I'd hate to think what they'd have to give up. "The greatest lineup ever assembled" doesn't need Pat Burrell or Shane Victorino.

I had a similar reaction as the poster M McGrory about the lack of a quote in the article that says the Phillies have no interest in Iwamura. I still think it's unlikely the Phils will wind up with him, but if they were planning to bid on him reports saying they weren't might benefit them. On the other hand, if they weren't going to bid you would think they would still want other teams to think that they were, given that they have said they have interest in the past. I'm not sure how much someone from the Phillies telling a reporter that they're not going to bid on the player would benefit them. It's certainly possible they are just trying to give their fans accurate information about the direction they're taking.

GMs this season are like drunken, middle-aged managers at the start of a convention in Vegas. Their pockets are flush with cash and they are going to do all kinds of idiotic things (like giving Ted Lilly $8-$9 million a year).

I just don't see the Phils outbidding a team like the Mets, Cubs, or Angels for Soriano. Soriano is looking for Beltran money (7 year/$119 million). Don't think he quite gets it but I am willing to bet he gets (6 years/$95-105 million. That is even bigger than the Phils' largest contract ever for Thome at 6 years/$85 million.

I am really disappointed though that 3B is not going to be upgraded. A platoon of Helms/Nunez is totally insufficient from both an offense and defense perspective. Hopefully, Gillick can make a trade here.

One pitcher I'm surprised there hasn't been more interest in is Pettite. We almost had him a couple years ago, but Torre nixed it at the 11th hour, if memory serves. I know he's thinking of retiring, but he's only 34 and has done well in the NL.

pettite got killed last year, as my fantasy team knows quite well, and the steroid allegations late in the season coupled with his big contract ($16 mill for 06), probably don't help his perceived value. at 34, however, he's much younger than i thought. all depends if he's still got an bite left on his breaking ball. he was coming off a career year in 05, so the dropoff was pretty dramatic.

k-don- ("post steroid physical breakdown"

Really, you think steroids causes wrist injuries?)

No- falling off ladder caused mine...really.

helms could help the team buyt not if nuni is the other half of the platoon.

rowand should be traded for pitching if possible.

if soriano is signed by the phils it will be a mistake as it will handcuff a the organizations for years to come...too much $$$!!!

Our BEST prospect is being compared to Tony Armas Jr.?

Thank god for free agency.

speaking of free agency and tony arams jr., he can be signed...nah, no thanks

forgive the typos and lwer-case, i have abroken wrist, and only use of mt left (non-dominant arm)...i'm a tropper like jim abbtt though.

According to, Huff is close to re-signing with the Astro's. I see that the Astro's are looking for a power hitting OFer. Makes sense to me.

Haven't heard A. Huff mentioned as upgrade at 3rd. He makes contact and can hit for power but his glove is questionable.

He's also bats lefthanded which probably rules him out. Nevertheless, his offense is more consistent and productive than either Helms or DeRosa. Any thoughts?

That figures!!!
Should've updated the thread before posting.

Regardless, any other thoughts on Huff?

Here are my official thoughts on third: If you're going to upgrade, then upgrade. None of this half-ass talk of a platoon. The Helms/Nunez idea is the least-palatable rumor so far. Nunez needed to play every day just to keep his average at a steady .250, instead of .140 when he wasn't playing.

Also of note, the padres are currently not looking to renew their contract with dave roberts, seeking instead a power-hitting corner-outfielder. Hmm. As I mentioned a bit back, both roberts and burrell's overall offensive contribution in terms of runs created is very similar - but if they want 30 homeruns a year (or so), we can give it to them.

I think Huff is a trap, big-time, Admiral Ackbar style. His reputation as a slugger seems to be entirely the result of his 2003 numbers, and his slugging % has plummeted since then (last year Hanley Ramirez's SLG was higher).

The $16 million last year for Pettite is misleading; it was an oddly structured contract. In total it was 3/30, an absolute bargain in this market (and about what Suppan will probably get). If you want to take a chance on a guy, which is invariably the case when it comes to FA pitchers, I'm more comfortable doing it with him than with all the rest of the B-grade dreck that will get elevated to "ace" status once teams start opening their checkbooks.

Yeah, Yakult promised that they would basically accept any bid that they get for Iwamura, so it's likely to be low, though I suppose if teams got together to discuss it that'd be considered "tampering" with the process, so hopefully it'll be somewhat substantial.

And yeah, "Top Gun" has been his nickname for ages. I didn't even realize it had actually filtered to America at all.

Gillick didn't actually have that much to do with acquiring Ichiro, from what I understand -- that was mostly Yamauchi saying, "I want Ichiro. Go get him. Here's the money for it."

i'm glad we're staying away from huff...he's all name anymore with evr-decreasing prodution.

having nunez in the plans as anything more than a bench player would be a mistake...he's horrible!

I don't know if anyone else is following, but Howard is more of a threat in japan than Godzilla!

check out for videos, but oh my god, the man is a giant among boys. will someone somewhere, PLEASE sign him until he's very, very old?

Some very good posts on this thread. I wonder if we aren't overanalyzing a bit. The Phils strategy so far seems to boil down to this: "Who can we sign that will put fannies in the seats without raising our payroll much?"

You will notice that winning is not mentioned. I believe the Phils will go after Sheff and likely trade young pitching to get him and maybe Leiber too. They will then sign a middling starter (Adam Eaton?) and a few cheap vets for the bullpen. This will sell tickets in the offseason and produce an 83-win team in-season. I hope I'm wrong, but it sure is smelling like this.

Unfortunately I agree Clout but I am willing to see what moves Gillick makes this offseason. Still, the talk does sound like it will produce another "NL Wildcard Contender" season.

clout, I disagree slightly - the only name mentioned so far to improve bums-on-seats quotient (maybe) is sheffield - if they make the move for soriano, sure more people will come, but it's bumping up their payroll significantly if rumours about moving burrell *and* eating up salary are to be believed.

However, I can well-believe the ownership are stupid enough to insist on more big names to pull people in even though utley, howard and hamels are doing the job already, and they'll pay stupid money to do it.

The pronouncement about Iwamura is pissing me off in a big way. I'm hoping as suggested earlier its not true because no phils source is quoted, but I'm suspecting it isn't. Righteously annoyed that we're not exploring fresh options outwith usual tried and trusted journeymen/blockbuster free agency deals.

on sunday i did a piece on my blog about "all my ex's live in texas" referring to our past pitchers like millwod, padilla, tejada, eaton, buckholtz, and duckworth. didn't think i'd have to include art howe to that list, as he just accepted the rangers bench coach job.

more bad news- manuel said he's fine with nunez at 3rd next season...yuck!

"Victorino will run more," Lopes said. "If he doesn't, I'll be fired. He'll be more aggressive. He's got it in him."

DQ-Sorry to read about your broken wrist. At least falling off the ladder couldn't break your heart. The Phillies had already broken it, again, not too long ago.

I'm still pissed about the Iwamura story/rumor. We can't be serious about starting Nunez in '07.

Lynn Swann lost, but Heath Schuler won. Heath sucked big time when he was down here with the Mike Ditka Saints. We do have an ex-Phillie in the U.S. Senate, perfect game pitcher Jim Bunning.

I agree with JW. Do it, or don't. This is why I hate the off-season baseball. All good GMs are gonna fake this way and go that way, and you don't know what their plan is until it's done.

I disagree with clout's assumption of the management's stupidity. I don't really think these people are sitting around saying, "I think we need another big name to fill seats". Not with Utley, Howard, Hamels, and Myers. Even Burrell has his group of fans. I do agree that they're in it for the money, not to win. But if they're good businessmen (and one could assume that's how they got enough money to own a baseball team) they'll look at the cost benefit ratio and see that the additional seats Sheffield will fill is not anywhere near the cost of his contract.

Lake - Jim Bunning was also ranked one of the worst 5 senators by Time. Take that for what it's worth.

Not sure what to make of the Philly Daily News article today with the Davey Lopes quotes. Sounds like he's all-in for Soriano:

"Apparently, Soriano's perceived occasional lack of hustle is not a deal-breaker. For Lopes, it's no big deal, given Soriano's ability to hit 40 homers and steal 40 bases.

"You show me a guy who doesn't dog it one or two times a year," said Lopes, who lauded Soranio's joy and passion for the game. "Would I like to kick him in the butt sometimes? Absolutely."

Got news for you Davey, you'll soon be seeing a couple of those guys who don't dog it in a few months - start with Utley and Rowand.

Ugh, I think I'm going to be sick:

"Nuñez supplied splendid defense after the Phillies traded David Bell on July 28. He batted .211 overall, but .259 after becoming an everyday player following the trade.

"He really made a believer out of me," Manuel said. "I can live with him, especially if we can improve [his offense]."

"Ditto the catching situation. Manuel figures 33-year-old rookie Chris Coste, a rough-edged backstop with a knack for big hits, is as good as any veteran reserve the Phillies might consider to back up prospect Carlos Ruiz."

Wow, Jason must be excited that they are already handing the job to Ruiz. This is another snub for Coste, who deserves to be the starter until he proves inefective.

Pushing all your resources toward offense has not worked for two noteworthy teams over the years: Texas, and Philadelphia. And until the White Sox finally acquired some pitching (via trade) and won a world title, they were a mashing team that couldn't get over the hump.

Now, I could be wrong about the current staff. Cole Hamels could become a dominant ace and lead this team, along with Myers and a resurgent Lieber. But they will go nowhere as long as the bullpen is not addressed.

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